Bartlett Blast delivers walk off glory
Westgarth 3rds Stage Remarkable Baseball Win
Westgarth Baseball Club has had many wins in its proud 67 year history but few could have been more remarkable than the victory achieved by the 3rds team against Monash University on Saturday.
On a bitterly cold afternoon at Merri Park in Northcote the Wesgarth team took to the plate for one last time trying to come back from a 14-9 deficit. The young Monash southpaw pitcher who had started the game and deserved the victory quickly retired the lead-off batter. Clean-up hitter Gary McKeown then briefly delayed the inevitable with a double to right field. Marcus Garafillis capped a 3-hit game by singling to centre field and scoring McKeown. That cut the deficit to 4 but the game looked all but over when the next hitter popped out to 2nd base in the fading light. Westgarth were down to their last out and Monash were only one out away from securing the win.
Rob Macleod had other ideas and stepped up and launched a huge bomb into the bleaches of centre field to score him and Garafillis and the margin was now 2. Starting pitcher and team manager Troy Hellingman then deposited the 2nd pitch he saw high over the centre fielder for another towering home run and the lead was down to 1.
Number 9 hitter James Doolan was then hit by a pitch by the young pitcher who was understandably now getting rattled. Ben Ryan then drew a 4 pitch walk which meant the potential winning run was on base. But there was still enormous pressure on number 2 hitter Ryan Bartlett, a third generation Westgarth player, as he took his turn at the plate. Father, Graeme Bartlett, himself a 43 season veteran, nervously watched on as scorer. Both runners then executed a double steal to go to 2nd and 3rd as young Bartlett showed nerves of steel to patiently take it to a full count. The pay-off pitch was low and on the inside corner but Bartlett liked what he saw and drove it hard and high and over the left field wall for an incredible 3 run walk-off home run! The remarkable come from behind victory will mark a significant historical notch in the Westgarth Baseball annals.